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Tuesday Afternoon News, May 24th

Iowa Supreme Court Says No To Argosy Casino

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court has ended a long legal battle between the former Argosy Sioux City riverboat casino and state gambling regulators and the casino's former local partner.
The court rejected the Belle of Sioux City's request to review an Iowa Court of Appeals decision that upheld previous rulings leading to the casino's closure.
In March, the Court of Appeals ruled that the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission's denial of the Belle of Sioux City's gaming license didn't violate the Belle's right to due process. The court said the Argosy's incomplete gambling license renewal applications in 2012 and 2013 didn't trigger protections spelled out in Iowa law.
The Supreme Court upheld that ruling. The Belle's application for review was the company's last opportunity to keep the case open.
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Spirit Lake Woman Improving After Being Ran Over By A Pick Up Truck

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa (AP) - Hospital officials say a Spirit Lake pedestrian is in fair condition after she was struck by a pickup truck and dragged for over 600 feet.

Officials at the Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota say Tuesday that 39-year-old Kathryn Kline's vital signs are stable and she is conscious. 
Authorities say Kline was walking across U.S. Highway 71 in Spirit Lake with a green light Thursday when she was struck by a pickup driven by 87-year-old Earl Millikan, of Lake Park. 
A police report says Millikan didn't realize he struck the woman and continued driving with Kline pinned underneath the pickup for about 635 feet.
Kline was taken to a Spirit Lake hospital with serious injuries and transferred to the Sioux Falls hospital.
Millikan was cited with failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk under a green arrow.
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Sex Case Against Des Moines Basketball Coach Has Been Dropped

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The sex abuse case against a Des Moines high school girls' basketball coach has been dismissed. 
Forty seven-year-old Gerald "Tig" Johnson, a Roosevelt High School teacher, was charged in December with sexual exploitation by a school employee and assault with intent to commit sexual abuse. He was placed on administrative leave. 
Prosecutors said a video showed Johnson calling a 16-year-old girl out of class and having sexual contact with her in his classroom.
School officials say they saved the video, but the digital file became corrupted and couldn't be viewed.
A judge ruled Friday that witnesses couldn't testify about the video. Prosecutors say that ruling prevented them from proving Johnson's guilt. 
The judge ruled that not having the video was unfair to Johnson.

 

 

 

 

 

Six Graders Suspended From School For Shooting Airsoft Gun

POSTVILLE, Iowa (AP) - The Postville school superintendent in northeast Iowa says two sixth-graders have been suspended for shooting airsoft guns at five classmates.
Superintendent Abe Maske said Tuesday that none of the five suffered serious injuries from the plastic pellets fired Monday afternoon outside the kindergarten-through-sixth-grade building after lunch. Maske says the district is still investigating the incident so he couldn't yet say what final discipline the students will face. The last day of classes is Friday. 
The airsoft guns are considered weapons under the district policy. 
Maske also says that near as he knows the two boys haven't been criminally charged. The Postville police chief didn't immediately return messages from The Associated Press.
Airsoft guns are used for recreation and have become training tools for law enforcement and military agencies.


   

Tuesday News, May 24th

Heavy Rains Hit Plymouth County Causing Some Damage

(Le Mars) -- Nearly three inches of rain fell on Le Mars within a few hours Monday afternoon causing flash flood warnings, localized street flooding, downed trees and power lines, and reports of some structural roof damage.  Plymouth County authorities report at the 2400 block of Sunset Avenue located on the eastern edge of the county, some roof damage had occurred on a hog confinement building.  Other damage was reported at the 4700 block of county road C-44 when a tree fell on a house causing some roof damage.  Golf ball size hail was reported near Hinton, while in some areas near Le Mars pea size hail had fallen.  Some power lines in Kingsley were knocked down creating power outages to a few homes.  Authorities also indicate there had been some washing out of rural roads in isolated areas.  In Le Mars a tree fell at the intersection of 3rd Street southwest and 1st Avenue southwest near the Plymouth County Historical Museum.  The fallen tree had blocked the streets.  City crews were called to remove the tree.  In Sioux County a tornado was spotted between Alton and Hospers, but according to the Sioux County Sheriff's Office, they are not aware of any damage.

 

 

 

Le Mars Police Involved In Motorcycle Chase

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Police were involved in a motorcycle chase Friday evening. An officer attempted to stop a motorcycle in the 1800 block of 6th Avenue southwest at about 11:13 p.m.  The driver of the motorcycle failed to stop and attempted to elude the officer.  The driver, 37 year old Joshua Foreman of rural Le Mars was finally taken into custody after the pursuit ended in Alton.  Foreman was transported to the Plymouth County jail for eluding and failing to obey a stop sign. The Le Mars Police Department was assisted by the Plymouth County Sheriff's Office.

 

 

 

 

Supervisors To Discuss Approving Subdivision

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to meet this morning at the County Courthouse Board Room. The county governing board have a light agenda. The supervisors will hear from Surveyor, Dave Wilberding, as he is seeking approval of a minor subdivision located in Elgin Township.  The supervisors are expected to take action to approve a right-of-way easement to Southern Sioux Rural Water Association from Plymouth County to help put water in at the new River Bend Wildlife area.  The supervisors are expected to approve a fireworks application, and approve the liquor license to Mike's Saloon.  The county supervisors will hear an update regarding road construction projects from County Engineer Tom Rohe.  Rohe will also submit several construction contracts for the supervisor's approval.

 

 

 

School Board Approves Changes To Handbook

(Le Mars) -- Students and faculty of Le Mars Community school district will notice some changes and modifications to the handbook when they return to school next August.  High School principal Dr. Mark Iverson and Assistant High School Principal Neal Utesch appeared before the Le Mars Community Board of Education Monday evening to propose some modifications to next year's handbook.  Dr. Iverson informed the school board that the district will be changing the grading system so it will be more consistent from class to class, and from teacher to teacher.  Iverson says grading is many times subjective, but with the new system in place, it should be less subjective.

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In addition to the grades being modified, Iverson says the school district have changed policy regarding late submitted homework.

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The Le Mars Community High School principal says the policy will allow the teacher to use the better of the two attempts for the final grade.  He says a lot of work was done by the faculty to make the grading system better, and more consistent through out all classes.

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The new grading system has 93 to 100 percent as an "A".  90 to 92 percent will be awarded an "A minus".  87 to 89 percent is a "B plus", 83 to 86 percent correct will be a "B" and 80 to 82 percent is a "B minus".  A "C plus" will be given to students who have achieved 77 to 79 percent correct answers. A "C" grade will go for 73 to 76 percent, and a "C minus" for scores of 70 to 72 percent.  A "D plus" grade will be given for 67 to 69 percent correct answers.  A "D" grade will be given for scores between 63 and 66 percent, and a "D minus" for 60 to 62, with an "F" grade given to scores at 59 percent or below.

The new handbook will address policies dealing with transcripts, semester tests, dress code, and expectations of students at extra-curricular activities. Also included, according to Assistant High School principal Neal Utesch is a new policy dealing with checking out laptop computers from the school library.

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Utesch says the practice of students checking out laptop computers had been used for a while, however, the policy was never clearly stated in the handbook, if any issues were ever to arise. Utesch says the school board also approved a new policy involving students required to take a semester tests.

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The school board approved Primebank of Le Mars as the lending institution to refinance the 2011 Sales Tax Revenue Bond issued to fund the Phase 2 construction project. School superintendent Dr. Todd Wendt commented that he was pleased to see Primebank was awarded the bid for two reasons.  First, Primebank offered the lowest interest rate for the loan at 1.35 percent, giving the school an opportunity to save some money, and second, because Primebank is a local bank with strong community ties.

In other action, the school board approved the resignations of eight different faculty and staff members including that of Clark and Franklin elementary principal Floyd Athey, who had been with the Le Mars Community School for 28 years.  The board also accepted the resignation of Gary Herman, the director of transportation.  Herman plans to retire after working with the school district for 42 years.  The school board awarded contracts to Karlton Hector as the Activities Director, Troy Caswell as both a teacher associate and Assistant Activities Director.  Contracts were also approved for Sherrie Moritz as the new football cheerleading coach, and to Lauren Husman for the position of Middle School Science teacher.  The board also approved an agreement to have Bixenman Insurance of Le Mars, under the broader agency of Employer's Mutual Company, serve as the insurance agency for property and casualty coverage.

 

 


State Auditor Investigates Former Boyden City Clerk Misappropriation Of City Funds

(Orange City) -- The Sioux County Sheriff's Office is conducting an investigation into improper money disbursements by former Boyden City Clerk, Beth Sipma.  The Sioux County Attorney, Thomas Kunstle, was contacted by the Iowa State Auditor's Office concerning the case.  The Sioux County Attorney has asked the Sheriff's Office to investigate, along with the state auditor's office.  In the report from State Auditor, Mary Moisman it states a special investigation was requested by Boyden city officials to cover a time period from July 1, 2013 to April 30, 2015.  Moisman reported the special investigation identified $36,227.60 of improper and unsupported disbursements.  The $34,659.27 of improper disbursements identified includes $30,735.42 of payments made to, or, for Sipma, including payroll and reimbursements.  Moisman also reported the improper disbursements identified includes $3,059.82 of purchases made with the city's credit cards, including $1,321.10 for airline tickets from Minneapolis, Minnesota to Aberdeen, Scotland; a $506.46 personal cell phone bill; and $428.82 of personal purchases from IKEA.  The report says the improper disbursements identified also include late fees and interest incurred by the city for late credit card payments and contributions not remitted in a timely manner to the Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System or IPERS.

 

 

Woman Seriously Injured After Being Dragged By Pick Up Truck

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa (AP) - A Spirit Lake pedestrian was seriously injured after she was struck by a pickup truck and dragged for over 600 feet.
39-year-old Kathryn Kline was walking across U.S. Highway 71 in Spirit Lake with a green light Thursday afternoon when she was struck by a pickup driven by 87-year-old Earl Millikan, of Lake Park.
A police report says Millikan didn't realize he struck the woman and continued driving north with Kline pinned underneath the pickup for about 635 feet. 
Kline was taken to a Spirit Lake hospital with serious injuries. Hospital officials did not immediately return a message seeking her condition Monday afternoon. 
Millikan was cited with failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk under a green arrow.
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Carter Lake Man Pleads Guilty To Sexual Assault Of Minor Girl

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - A Carter Lake man accused of sexually assaulting minors has pleaded guilty in the case.
42-year-old David Trejo pleaded guilty Monday to one count of sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of soliciting lascivious acts with a minor as part of a plea agreement.
According to court documents, Trejo said he believed one girl he met online was 19 and did not find out that she was 14 until after they had sex several times. Court documents say another girl involved in the case was under the age of 14.
Trejo faces up to 15 years in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced July 11.
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